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Everything is authenticated based upon the mac address of your wireless card. When you connect initially you are assigned a DHCP address by the gateway device which is controlling your DNS. Before you are authenticated all DNS requests are redirected to the HTTP(S) server of the gateway device. This controller has created you an account based upon your mac ...


3

curiousguy is correct that Tor doesn't actually obfuscate the protocol other than HTTPS. Of note, however, is that Tor (using something like Tor Browser or Vidalia) does proxy DNS requests through Tor. Some captive portals work only by redirecting default DNS to a login portal. If this is the case, the combination of encrypted communication and third-party ...


2

Many captive portals are a self contained httpd/dhcpd/router/whatever else (some routers have bittorrent clients but that is beside the point). I don't think that this Wikipedia page disagrees with that. The attack being discussed in the last part of this excerpt is referring to DNS tunneling. If its a very large network, such as a WISP, then they are ...


2

The browser does not know anything about the authentication. It is done on the outside: outgoing connections are intercepted. This can be done in several ways; usually, the WiFi router intercepts outgoing TCP connections, and, if the contents of the connection look like an HTTP request, the router serves back the 'pay me' page; all other connections are ...


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There are a large number of open source hotspot software suites available. EasyHotSpot has an integrated billing system. I have not audited these applications and i have no idea how secure they are. From a security perspective, "captive portals" break ssl pretty badly. Convergence, which is the Anti-MITM addon for firefox will detect captive portals as ...



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